I seldom (never) leave the house without having to go back inside after something. There is something magical about the walk from the front door to the front seat that stimulates memory neurons. However this morning the magic was slow to occur and I was 3 miles down the road when I remembered I forgot.... my cell phone. Luckily I had taken my morning heart medication so the palpitations did not result in cardiac arrest. With hands trembling from immediate with drawl symptoms I continued on my journey to the local café for breakfast. Then images began rushing through my head of fellow diners staring at me doing nothing. With no electronic device to peer into, what would I do until my food arrived? Courage summoned I proceeded to the restaurant.
"Coffee and water please."
With the rest of my order placed I began to glance around at the other patrons. None seemed to be aware of my nakedness. I was about to relax when a clatter from two tables away startled me. It was a cutting crisp bacon too close to the end of your plate so the other end jumped up and clattered back onto the table while you made more noise trying to catch everything that was now in motion kind of clatter.
As I glanced that direction I saw an older gentleman, also, dining alone. Upon his head a WWII veterans cap. My imagination went to a time before I existed. A young soldier saying good bye to his family, perhaps a sweetheart. What unknown dangers and fears had this man endured? Because of sacrifices of this nature we live in a nation that is, for the most part, free.
I wanted to thank him.
I hurried with the remainder of my meal and made my way to the waitresses station next to the kitchen. I explained what I wished to do. She smiled and replied: "We can make this happen." My plan with her now in place, I paid for my meal and his.
I gave her a note I had hand written:
Please allow me the honor of buying your breakfast.
Your service has allowed me to live in a Nation that is free.
With my sincere gratitude.
The waitress was not to let him know who this was from, simply give him the note.
I hesitated, for a moment, in my truck parked across the street. In my rear view mirror I saw our Veteran emerge and you know I believe his shuffled gate was just a bit quicker, his head a bit higher.....and I think mine is too.
Do something for yourself .
This, I believe, is the very best way.